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tv   News  Al Jazeera America  March 3, 2014 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

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>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. these are the stories we're following for you. an ultimatum in ukraine. russia telling ukrainian naval forces in the crimea to surrender. >> we absolutely need to see a deescalation of the situation. >> all of this on a day that the international community are cramming being to respond to -- are scrambling to russia's occupation. olympian oscar pistorius
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pleading not guilty as he goes on trial for killing his girlfriend. >> tensions are mounting at this hour over the crisis in ukraine. russia now denying reports that its forces ordered this ukrainian navy to surrender. the state department now says it's preparing sanctions against russia and about an hour the united nations security council is set to mate, the topic the crisis in ukraine. nick schifrin joins us from crimea. what are you seeing where you are? >> where we are we are seeing complete occupation by russian forces, not only here but in the capitol. there are outside skirts of the city that we -- outskirts that we saw today, russian forces
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casually relaxing and surrounding it. down the block there's a huge armory. russian soldiers are digging trenches right outside that armory. what's interesting if you spend enough time you see supporters of crimeans trying to deliver food and water thanking these russian soldiers for coming, the majority or all of russia does not support this intervention but there were a lot of people who we ran into that definitely felt the presence of russian trops was a good thing. >> and nick was there anything from the ukrainian government about this ultimatum that was issued to the navy? no and what we have seen is a ukrainian government attacking a lot of parliament resolution against russian presence but very little action.
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as a matter of fact what we've seen from ukrainian soldiers some of whom have talked to the media is they said they were told not to actually fire their weapons unless fired at. and russia has seized this peninsula without firing a single shot. so far as anyone can tell. the resistance has been absolutely none. and so now even though the resistance has been zero, they're demanding these two naval ships to disarm. that of course though is ratcheting up the tensions on the peninsula. >> nick we're starting to lose your phone. i hope we don't lose it but is there any indication that this conflict can be solved diplomatically? in i think everyone in the ukraine certainly hopes it's all diplomatic. they don't have the capacity or the appetite to go against a russian military that's 40 times what ukraine does on defense budget and is about 60 times the size of the military.
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the u.s. is definitely trying to solve this diplomatically. they're trying to put diplomatic pressure on the ukraine but senior officials say they do not have the military tool in the tool kit that they want to use now. what they're trying to do is deescalate tensions on this peninsula, but as far as anything anyone can tell, the russians are not listening to the u.s. as well. and the ukrainians have not responded yet. >> we are hearing that a ukrai ukrainian ves sell in sevastopol has been surrounded by russian vessels and cannot leave the port. these are pictures right now of that vessel. >> as far as we can tell, it is not surrounded, it's what the russian navy has done is move into the port and block anyone from necessarily being able to come out. and so what that means is that the ukrainian ship is basically
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stuck. again, they don't have the capacity or, more to the point, the orders from their government, to try anything against this much, much larger, much more robust, much better trained russian navy. and so they are in effect surrounded, i suppose. and they can't go anywhere and so that is a siege that's happening right now. in addition to basically what the u.s. officials call complete control of the peninsula by russian soldiers that have moved in. on the ground here you don't see a lot of russian soldiers everywhere but where you do see is key points like bases, airports, like the borders, you see a huge presence of russian troops, 6,000 according to officials. they do have control of this peninsula and clearly they are ratcheting up the pressure on the government, on the military here and again there has simply been no response from either the
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government or the military other than asking the united states to put diplomatic and economic pressure on russia and russia simply is not listening. >> nick schifrin part of our team of reporters reporting, he is reporting from simferopol. adal hamid is there. >> eastern crimea, inside the ukrainian service men have so far refused to surrender. residents of the village have turned up to lend their support to the russians who are surrounding the base. the russian sociologist engineers are leaving it up to the people convince the ukrainians inside to change sides. >> translator: the soldiers pledged to be loyal to ukraine and the real government pledged to the ukrainians. if they put their guns down and
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join the crimean people we will help them and be very grateful to them. i hope they make the right choice. >> people are angry suspicious and feel betrayed by the new interim government in kiev. america, we will not let you through, they shout. while kiev accuses the russians from invading crimea for the residents they are saver yors. further north in the air field now under russian control. the soldiers don't talk much but one tells me was deployed from russia two days ago and doesn't know how long he will be here. there pay be an answer to that at the border that separates the crimean peninsula and ukraine's pain land where the soldiers are building an encampment. we were prevented from filming
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but a soldier identified himself as a cossack from southern russia. >> translator: russians didn't came to invade. we came here and then we will go back home after the referendum. after that the crimean people will make their decision which will be evidence among the people of the world. >> ethnic russians see this as a challenges to disalings themselves from a country they never truly belong to. >> we will never become one nation with the western part of ukraine because we have different mentalities. their heroes are our enemies, our heroes are the russian soldiers who saved us from the nazis. >> men here feel the russian soldiers presence is necessary while they continue their quest
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for greater autonomy from ukraine. al jazeera in crimea. >> as we mentioned, the u.n. security council is set to pete this afternoon. all of this as world leaders continue to seek a diplomatic solution to the situation. they're asking trow russia to sw restraint. phil itner, have we heard anything from the russians? >> we've actually heard an awful lot from the russians today. first and foremost an official denial from the russian form ministry about that ultimatum that was flowing around. no such ultimatum was put forward. the russian foreign secretary sergey lavrov. >> this is a question of defending our citizens and compatriots, and ensuring human
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rights especially the right to life. those who are trying to interpret the situation as a sort of aggression and threatening us with sanctions and boycotts, these are the same partners who have consistently been declaring ultimatums and renounce dialogue. >> now, there may be an announcement from the russian foreign ministry saying they have come here to secure human lives and russ citizens but at the same time they also carry a pretty big stick. russian president vladimir putin making a surprise inspection of troops just across the border in russia, in an area on the northern and eastern border with the ukraine. they said those war games were scheduled months ago. but obviously given the environment, nobody is confidentably looking at that. we know the ukrainian --
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comfortably looking at that. border line in that area where the war games are going, the north and the east of the country, and it indicates, del, that there is a real concern here in kiev that this may spread beyond crimea, that there may be designs on ukraine itself. del. >> and phil it must be an uneasy evening in kiev. just a few days ago they were celebrating what they believe was a new government. what is happening there right now? >> well, you're absolutely right. the anxiety levels in ceefn are huge. the people are back on the streets in maidan. they are very concerned about what the russians may be doing. we know that they are making pleas to the international community. the international community is responding at least in terms of bolstering morale. the british foreign secretary
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was here today, and he said that russia must respect ukraine's territorial integrity. we know that secretary of state kerry will be coming here for very much the same reason, to give support to the fledgling government. over in brussels and in europe there have been a number of groups that have said they are meeting to discuss possible consequences for what has happened. for example the eu head of security, katherine ashton said russia must withdraw, it should withdraw. there are grave concerns in europe but the west as nick schifrin indicated doesn't have the military might to do it but we are starting to hear word of possible economic strength and economic pressure on russia. they may not be able to put tanks on the ground. nobody wants a direct confrontation with russia dell l but there is a possibility of hitting where it hurts in the
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pocketbook. >> phil, thank you very much. the crisis in ukraine has quickly become one of the most tense and complex issues especially for president obama. new leadership there in the face of that russian military intervention. mike viqueria is at the white house. when the secretary arrives what will be on his agenda and what can he expect? >> to get you up to date, a state department spokesperson said just moments ago sanctions are being considered by the united states in conjunction with its european aize, no decision he allies. -- economic hit, stock markets are going down. the value of the ruble is going down. and the soft power of 50 billion worth to burnish its reputation
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holding the winter olympics at sochi, that all being squandered in the eyes of many. secretary kerry will be traveling, a speech on u.s. israeli relations and petting on a plane to kiev. given all we are told that secretary kerry will perhaps in rome be meeting with his russian counterpart sergey lavrov. meeting with the descrailt prime minister, on any other -- the israeli prime minister. perhaps president obama will be asked. we can guarantee he will be asked about the situation in ukraine. whether he chooses to address it, is another matter. calls with european leaders with president obama in the last 24 to 48 hours. secretary kerry working the phones as well.
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but in terms of the response still very fluid here from washington. >> and mike what are the options that the u.s. has on the table as you're well aware, senator john mccain already criticizing anything at that time u.s. has or has not done. what options does the u.s. have when it comes to ukraine. >> this is a carryover what was said from yesterday as well. nobody is talking seriously about a military option. there are a number of problems with that, i think some of personnel relatively obvious. -- the relatively obviously. all across the political spectrum ear in washington -- here in washington, behind president obama whatever he chooses to do. they're talking about freezing assets, economic sanctions, banning visas. a lot of it is hoped fay will have an impact not only as a practical matter on the russian
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economy but on the soft power we have been talking about. its reputation worldwide that it has worked hard to cultivate over the past several years. >> mike viqueria, thank you very much. world markets are taking a hit this hour. the dow down 145 points. it has been falling throughout the day. that is not lowest low that we have seen. in europe, london's ftse pawlg, the german dak lower, down 3.5%. worse in russia, the main stock market tumbled 11%. propping up the rubel, even more to stabilize russia's economy. how much you pay for gas, vuz one of the largest producer prof
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oil, driving oil prices higher by almost 2%. and that will trickle down to you. >> anything else there will be a risk premium built in unless of course the situation in ukraine is contained, just with crimea, quite quickly and certainly i don't think that any of this is going to die down over the next few days. >> also today investors are putting their money into what are considered safe investments because of ukraine. gold is up more than 2% but those investors are also buying u.s. treasuries. the yield 2.61%. and remember for the latest events coming out of ukraine and the latest headlines, go to twitter, our handle is @ajam.
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>> welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. here are the headlines. russia denying the report that its forces ordered the ukrainian forces to surrender. world financial markets are falling, sharply out over concerns concerning the crisis in ukraine. the dow no exception down triple-digits all day right now lower by 150 points.
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the u.s. also saying it is prepared to place sanctions against russia if russia will not pull its troops out of ukraine. secretary of state john kerry is on his way to ukraine with hopes of a diplomat solution. the day 1 of oscar pistorius murder case. accused of killing his girlfriend on valentine's day last year. >> even though a judge hasn't heard his case yet, some have already made up their minds about the like and paralympic runner. >> did he well for this country, for south african sports and what happened to him is unfortunate. >> murder is murder. he did kill someone. he shot her three times. shooting her three times,
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obviously. >> on valentine's day last year pistorius shot his girlfriend, reva steenkamp was a law graduate and a well-known model. prosecutors accuse him of premeditated murder. if convicted he could go to prison for 25 years. a judge has already ruled that some part of the trial could be televised many but some people think that could jeopardy pistorius chance of getting -- jeopardize pistorius cans of getting a fair trial. >> when the trial starts running and other witnesses might possibly hear or is h or see ths evidence, alter the versions they put to the investigators. >> and there are many eyes watching. journalists from around the world are parked outside the
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pretoria high court. the south african legal system does not have trials by a jury. so the judge will preside and ultimately rule whether pistorius is guilty. pretoria. >> comparisons between this case and the o.j. simpsonson case. in fact they're calling it south africa's trial of the century. >> the media frenzy in this case may very well be the mother of all media frenzies. they have a 24 hour cable channel dedicated exclusively to this trial. this is about as useful to justice as an ash tray is to a motorcycle. pistorius is on trial for his life. but more than that, the justice
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system of south africa is on trial. this is unpresprecedented in soh africa. >> when you say the south african legal system is on trial, why not have it televised,to so the entire world can watch and react to whatever the system has? >> i think that's what they have in mind. when it comes to the, she has a couple of people helping her but she makes the decision. and the thing about this particular judge, she was only the second black female ever to be appointed to this post in this type of criminal court. prior to her becoming a judge she was a journalist. not just any kind of journalist, she was a crime journalist. she above all people knows what is at stake. the judge is going to bend over backwards to make sure that not
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only the defendant gets a fair trial but the system gets a trial and is perceived to be fair under these circumstances. >> what are the facts in this case, pistorius is pleading not guilty but not of shooting his girlfriend. >> whether or not he's convicted on the murder charge is one thing. but there are several lesser charges that he pay very well have some problems with. self defense in south africa is a much different creature than what we know in america. some things are going to be the same. the defense is going to seize on glaring flaws in the police work in this case. in fact the police at certain pretrial hearings have admitted that they made assumptions on certain items of evidence. when an investigator investigats
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assumptions rather than leading the trier of fact to the chution, it can affect the conclusions the prosecutors have. not only was there a history of violence between the defendant and women, that he was someone who was obsessed with firearms and was a quick tempered person. the combination of those things leads to a person who is ready willing and able to commit murder. >> philipp holoway, thanks very much. a lot to follow. >> thanks. >> coming up on al jazeera america, we're going to tell you about a theater that helped blind people enjoy the movies.
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>> again, we have been following a number of developments concerning the crisis in ukraine, the latest happening just moments ago in washington. president obama wrapping up a meeting with israel prime
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minister benjamin netanyahu just moments ago at the white house. he did talk about ukraine, saying russia he believes is on the wrong side of history. say russia's actions are a violation of international law. >> well, an arctic cold front is bringing temperatures that don't really coincide with this time of the year across portions of the south central plains. it is very chilly into dallas into new orleans. temperatures have fallen quite a bit in the last 24 hours. 40° difference from yesterday to today. ice storm warning in effect across portions of central fex we'll see freezing rain -- later tonight. around the houston area later on tonight and tomorrow morning.
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if you are on those roads take it easy. meanwhile we're tracking the front, pushing across eastern kentucky and the virginias and washington, d.c. and maryland where i'm telling you, the snow is coming down! much of the northeast escaped this storm but we're looking at eight inches of snow across portions of maryland, delaware, i've seen reports up to 11 inches of snow, heavy snow coming down, winter storm warnings, disappearing across portions of northern maryland and northern west virginia but the southern tier still dealing with the snow and the cold. right now it's only 19° in washington, d.c. so the snow is sticking. cooler in new york and the sun is going to come out later, back to you del. thank you. a new technology changing for some blind and deaf movie goers, being used at a theater in northern california.
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now these new devices not only increase independence but make it more enjoyable for both the blind and the deaf. thanks for watching al jazeera america. i'm del walters. "techknow" is next. i'm phil torres here to talk about innovations that can change lives. we are going to explore the intersection of hardware and humanity and we're doing it in a unique way. a show about science by scientists . lindsay moran, science versus the deaf takings of ptsd. soldiers december pri battle. kosta grammatis is behind the wheel of the future testing out a driverless car
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